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Pomany Creek Canyons, Long Weekend,

12/13/14 June 2004

Party:-

  Ken H, Steve R, Graham S, Dug F.

Widden always a delight, long level floored valley of green green or gold gold grass, between tall sandstone cliffs carved or sculptured or shaped by weather erosion over the eons; many shades and shapes, pagodas, flows of stone, wave formations, golden soft wind eroded caves, blue blue sky above, tall grey gums trees, silhouetted pencil pines, mans changes somehow in tune with nature, stud quality horses and cattle gently grazing, a place man is meant to be and is glad he is.

We chat with Dave and Heather; park the car past Table Bay Creek junction and are away walking by 1pm.  Beautiful sunny day here but still cloudy on the coast.  The track is a bit damp after 6mm of rain last night.  The partly built house on the knoll by Table Bay is certainly impressive.  Our rout follows the ridge line beside the creek west then northish leading to the saddle that will get us into Bass Crater.  Easy going, we decide to explore a ridge that forms the bank right of the creek for a different way in.  No problems although we eventually get into the creek that leads into the crater from the west and so walk a little further than we would have; no advantage then. 

Bass Crater is a delightful place to be, surrounded by high sculptured sandstone cliffs and pagodas, tall Dean’s Gums, flat grass floored, expanses of yellow everlasting daisies, bracken fern, and the occasional clump of wattle (these not flowering, we did pass lots of golden wattle driving here).  When these “holes” (eroded Marr – Diatreme Volcanoes) have been grazed in the past, they tend to be infested with introduced weeds, like: thistles, nettles and blackberry.  Luckily, this one is not too bad yet, but it will improve when more tall trees grow again to reduce the understorey to what it should be.

By 4pm, we set up camp on the flat floor of the crater, 150m from the water, located in pools where Pomany Creek exits.  A short exploration, reveals a nice flat-floored camping over-hang, on the northern side of the crater, west of the pools of water.  There are three blue 20 lt plastic drums with Labels in German (AGFA) and some plastic hose, probably used for cattle drenching in the past  (one yellow drum had a drench label in English).  We decide not to camp there because we are not really sure what was in the drums, the label is not necessarily what they contained – could have been baiting poison or anything.  Nearby another smaller overhang, has a wombat hole in the centre that discourages camping too. 

A good cooking fire is used to create a variety of rather scrumptious smelling (and tasting) dinners, to chat over.  In all, a very pleasant clear night, some frost on the grass but not amongst the trees where I have my fly.  We all heard nocturnal animals foraging nearby during the night, wombats and roos probably but they don’t bother us. 

Saturday

A great place to awaken amongst the tall trees of the crater with tall cliffs on all sides.  The dawn bird chorus is predominantly Lyre Birds going through their repertoires.  Away and walking by 8:30 up the ridge leading north and west to another ridge that meanders from Nullo Mountain past Mt Pomany.  Easy enough going with only minor scrambles, so we are soon on the main ridge.  We follow the remnants of the bridal path until it turns north towards Cecil Bird Hut ruins.  Here we keep going east, south of Mt Pomany seeking the two creeks, reported on a few years ago.  About 11am, after some discussion over navigation, we eventually pick what we hope is the correct creek and start down on the bank left, to avoid some early rope work.  The canyon soon starts with a 22m abseil over a undercut waterfall between tall cliffs.  Then a 12m abseil with two drops, enter from the side to avoid a small pool of rather dirty looking water (would be only ankle deep).  Followed by another 20m abseil, followed by another 13m abseil and finally a 14m hand over hand/abseil down a slippery chute.  A pleasant little exploratory canyon we name “You Little Ripper”.  When we meet the creek junction, there is some more discussion about navigation and we decide to go upstream.  Quite scrubby in places at the start but overall not too bad.  Eventually we emerge back on the ridge, perhaps 200m west of the head of the other creek.  This pass is named “You Little Beaut”.  We decide to, to explore another rout, straight down the southerly going ridge, into Bass Crater.  My memory is of cliffs at the nose so we angle down the west side a little and end up requiring two abseils one about 20m the other 26m.  Into camp by 3:30 for a lazy end to the day, (Graham tells me that Paddy Pallin’s book says walking is best from 9 to 3 each day).  Again a most pleasing and enjoyable dinner.  A slightly warmer night, with animal noises. 

Sunday

Another delightful dawn bird chorus brings us awake to a perfect place and time.  From camp, we think we can see a pass up the nose of the ridge we came down last night but we don’t investigate, this morning.  Leave it for next time.  A slow start and we’re away down Pomany Creek, by 8:50.  The going proves much easier than we have any right to expect.  Well-worn animal pads along the banks lead us through the rainforest vegetation, down this cliff-lined gully.  Canyony sections down there below, with long pools of deep looking water, every now and then.  The junction with yesterday’s creek system is reached in about 20min.  We soon pass another small crater where a number of creeks come in from each side, tall Dean’s Gums and rather thick vegetation with lots of raspberry vines, not much flat floor, still easy walking on the animal pads. Where the creek breaks the cliff lines we, past the boulder jambs, usual of such places, by scrambling round, over, through, between, under any which way.  It may have been possible to keep to the banks on the animal pads but this is fun.  We cut the corner along and around the scree slope that is mostly easy going.  I enjoy the 4 –5 km walk through the farmland as well.  Back to the cars by 12:30, a bit earlier than I could have possibly expected.  A nice sluice down in the stream and we are away for a late lunch at Sandy Hollow.

A good weekend, all exploratory, easier than most, delightful location, wonderful weather and excellent company.  Thank you Ken, Steve, Graham, till next time.  © Copyright 2004 Dug Floyd

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